Recently MaryAnne Shults sent me an article that was written by Gretchen Kriesen which will be featured in the January issue of the Finger Lakes Region of the SCCA publication “Top End”.
MaryAnne included the apparent full title of the article – “Top 10 reasons to rally with FLR (but maybe not your significant other…)” which can be good advice no matter where you rally. The article is presented below:
Let’s go Winter Rallying
By Gretchen Kriesen
“Did you have fun?” This question is sprinkled over the Road Rally group as they pour into the break or the final location, often while griping about a turn that was missed, a Time Allowance (TA) that was miscalculated, or a particularly gnarly section of dirt, gravel, or maddening twists. Having fun…it’s good to be reminded of the point of these rallies.
So why go out there, in the middle of winter and drive around for seven hours on back “roads” (and at times, “road” is used in its loosest interpretation possible), obsessing about each turn and each second, about where the next checkpoint will be, and why your handbrake is sticking and how that will ruin the rally for you? From the outside, it seems like a lot of frustration. From the outside it would. From the outside it did.
And then I was drafted, a last-minute effort for Jamie to compete this season. Jamie sits in the driver’s seat with a lot of experience. I’m in the navigator’s seat with impaired math skills, a short attention span, a tendency for motion sickness, and a nasty habit of saying “left” when I mean “right.” To make matters even more stressful for Jamie, I’m his wife. From what I understand, rallying spouses are few and far between, likely due to the stress of finding your way, quickly but accurately, in the snow, in the dark, on roads that are often unpaved and in the confines of a car which shrinks with each passing mile and curt remark.
With that said, allow me to describe the emotional stages one will experience as a Rally participant.
INSECURITY: Will I royally mess this up?
NAUSEA: Will I puke in this car? How many Dramamine can one take in seven hours?
EXHAUSTION: If I close my eyes for a second, I’ll be fine. ZZZZzzz
PANIC: Where’s the road? Did we miss the road? Should we take a TA?
FRUSTRATION: How can we still be off?
ANNOYANCE: This is your fault.
HAPPINESS: We are doing well!
BLISS: We are winning!
ANGER: We are losing!
RATIONALIZATION: Our windshield wipers weren’t working well.
ARROGANCE: We are amazing!
HUMILITY: Have you seen Alan and Eric’s score?
But it’s not just about the exciting emotional experience described above that should draw you in. No, my friends, rallying offers you one-of-a-kind adventures that will make you a better person, a better driver, and result in world-wide fame and fortune, stunning good looks, the jealousy of some, the awe of many, and a god-like status. (Results may vary… significantly).
So, here are The Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Go Rallying
(Preferably with the Finger Lakes Region, SCCA.)
10. Be smarter! Road rallying increases your eye-hand-foot coordination, math abilities, powers of concentration, sense of direction, and determination.
9. Navigators: Work on your trust issues! As a navigator, you will have to take it on faith that what may seem like reckless, out-of-control, idiotic driving is actually the result of your partner’s driving prowess.
8. Drivers: Work on your poker face! When your driving is reckless, out-of-control, and idiotic, a straight face will convince your partner that you are the driving expert you lied and told him you were.
7. Beat Alan and Eric (the perennial favorites)! It has been done. It could be done again. It could be done by you.
6. Test the limits of your marriage! Want to know just how much you love each other? Rally together. Remember, what is screamed in the car, stays in the car. And hopefully that’s not your daily driver.
5. Visit new and interesting places! Even if you won’t be able to see anything but the road, and even then only the ten feet ahead of you.
4. Buy a ham! Learn about the secret grocery store deep in the Southern Tier that sells good half-hams at can’t-be-passed-up prices!
3. Execute Extreme Quality Testing on Your Car! Hear your car make new and exciting noises, and remember, to finish first you must first finish.
2. Learn why someone can be irate over a fraction of second! Learn also how a small mistake can be brought up year after year as the reason why a season went awry and the title slipped out of your hands.
1. Have Fun! Even I got hooked. So, come join the fun.
Steve McKelvie Note: This article is full of good advice. With respect to rallying with your significant other, it can be risky, but I should add that I did participate in the wedding of a driver and navigator team during a rally once. I haven’t kept track of the number of rally divorces. On the other hand, I know a great couple and very good rallists who rally together despite having been divorced!